New Delhi: Zee News Ltd on Saturday said it has sent a Rs.150 crore defamation notice to Congress member of Parliament and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd chairman Naveen Jindal asking him to withdraw all his “unsubstantiated and defamatory allegations” against the television channel.
JSPL had also filed a defamation suit on Thursday against top officials of the Zee group for Rs.200 crore in the Mumbai high court claiming the TV channel had tried to extort money from his company.
“Zee News has granted a three-day time period to Naveen Jindal to withdraw all his unsubstantiated and defamatory allegations against Zee News, failing which Mr Jindal would face civil and criminal actions initiated by Zee News,” the media house said in a statement in New Delhi.
While senior executives at Zee were not reachable for comment, a senior JSPL official said that the company is yet to receive the notice. “From what we hear is that they are giving us time to withdraw our statements,” he said. “There is no question of withdrawing any statement as we have already filed the suit in Mumbai high court as the Delhi high court was closed at that time,” he said. He added that notices have already been issued to Subhash Chandra, Puneet Goenka, Sudhir Chaudhary and Sameer Ahluwalia of Zee News and Zee Business. The case is likely to come for hearing next week at the Mumbai high court.
At a press conference on Thursday, Jindal had claimed that editors of the Zee News and Zee Business television stations attempted to “extort” Rs.100 crore from the firm for not airing stories against it on coal block allocation.
Jindal had released a CD claiming that it has records of attempts by Zee editors to strike a purported deal with JSPL.
Zee News, meanwhile, maintained in its release that JSPL contacted the broadcaster’s news editors in order to bribe them to refrain from airing unfavourable report on the steel maker in the captive coal mines allotment case.
In the press release Zee News has stated that the channel rejects the doctored evidence produced by Jindal. “Zee News sees this as a deliberate attempt to malign the trustworthy Television Network,” it said.